A Life-Changing Disgnosis
- 9-year-old Jack Hansen experienced pain and stiffness in his leg and it turned out to be caused by cancerous tumors along his spine and in his brain.
- The boy’s cancer was potentially caused by a condition called neurofibromatosis type 2, or NF2, which is extremely rare in kids—so rare that only three other kids Jack’s age have been recorded having it.
- Childhood cancer is one of the most devastating things that a family can experience. Getting help is important as you navigate this new normal, with or without a spouse.
9-year-old Jack Hansen experienced pain and stiffness in his leg and it turned out to be cancer. The boy’s cancer was potentially caused by a condition called neurofibromatosis type 2, or NF2, which is extremely rare in kids—so rare that only three other kids Jack’s age have been recorded having it.Read More
While in the emergency room for his leg pain, doctors performed various tests and ordered scans. By the next morning, they discovered that Jack had a brain tumor. Shortly after, they found tumors along his spine.
The brave boy, who lives in England, is now recovering from a 15-hour operation to remove the tumors.
Needless to say, this has been an extremely stressful situation for Jack and his family. Close family friend Rachel Williams detailed the horrific health story to Hull Live.
“In March, Jack complained of having a stiff leg, but we put it down to him gaming too much and sitting on his leg,” Rachel recalled. “However, in the following weeks, he began dragging his leg and holding himself funny.”
“He then began feeling ill and started being sick before going to school, that was the first serious sign that something wasn’t right,” she said. “After this continued, Becky decided to try and get an appointment, but was told by the nurse that it wasn’t classed as an emergency.”
Thankfully, Rachel and Jack’s mother, Becky, both felt “something still wasn’t right” and took him to the emergency room. It has been a “whirlwind” ever since.
“It’s just a waiting game now to see what can be done. Normally people in their 20s or 30s are the ones who suffer with NF2,” Rachel continued. “People can live a long life with NF2, but with it being cancerous nobody is quite sure.”
In the meantime, the only thing that Rachel could think of to do for the family—as Becky has just recently stopped working to care for her son—is set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses. In addition to Jack, Becky and her husband Kris have two other children.
There is nothing that can prepare a family for cancer, and we wish Jack and his loved ones the very best as they navigate through this extremely difficult and stressful experience.
Diagnosis & Symptoms of NF2
According to Cleveland Clinic, your care team may suspect NF2 if there is a family history. Certain criteria must be met in terms of location of the tumors, along with the type. Specific tests may include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the brain and spinal cord to determine the location of the tumors
- Hearing tests
- Vision tests
- Genetic testing
Early symptoms of NF2 include:
- Problems with balance (such as dizziness
- Problems with hearing
- Ringing in the ears, also called tinnitus
For tumors that occur outside of the auditory nerves, symptoms might include:
- Weakness in the face, arms or legs
- Clouded lenses in one or both eyes (cataracts), often at a young age
- Increase in fluid on the brai